Beth has been an early childhood educator throughout her career. She founded and directed the Hampton Bays Children Center, a Reggio Emilia–inspired program, which served many families in the community. Most recently, she taught at Sag Harbor Elementary School before coming to teach at Ross Lower School.
Reeve, a Shelter Island native, is a professionally trained chef and gourmand who began his cooking career at the International Culinary Academy in New York and the International School of Italian Cuisine in Italy. After working in restaurants in NYC, the East End, and New England, he began working with private clients and started his own food truck service, King Andrew Cheese. However, his favorite culinary practice is teaching. He has an inspiring depth of knowledge about ingredients and culinary techniques from around the world.
Arlo Banta teaches stop motion animation. He grew up in Brooklyn New York, before attending the CalArts School of Experimental Animation. He was initially drawn to animation due the wide variety of artforms that are encompassed by the medium — including writing and music.
This is John’s 11th year at Summer Camp @Ross. He graduated from Dowling College with honors and currently is a certified New York State Elementary and Special Education teacher. John is excited to start the 2018 season as a Dodgeball instructor and sports director.
In September, Gerard will begin his 15th year as Theater Director at Ross School. This summer, in partnership with Ross colleague Adam Judd, Gerard will be encouraging Ross campers to explore and develop their performance talents in fun and challenging ways, culminating in a live performance before an audience of fellow campers. In his alternate life, outside Ross, Gerard reaches a worldwide audience as an award-winning narrator of over 400 audio books for major U.S. and U.K. publishers.
For the last 18+ years, Greg has been the lead counselor for the Summer Camp @Ross Young Naturalists Program. Since June of 1997, he has worked for Ross School in the positions of School Naturalist, Dean of Students and Senior Class, Certified National Archery in Schools Program Instructor, Red Cross–certified kayak instructor, and Assistant Director of Student Life. His daily duties and responsibilities include teaching environmental and outdoor leadership skills, serving as Senior Project mentor and student advisor, and ensuring student safety and security. In addition, as Field Academy coordinator, he has led students on both local and international travel trips to Costa Rica, China, Honduras, Mexico, Galapagos Islands, Patagonia, Belize, Dominica, the Florida Keys, Kenya, South Africa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, focusing the natural world and community service. Greg also has extensive knowledge and experience handling wild and domestic animals.
EC Music and Movement
Laura is an actress and performing arts educator. She has performed on stage, film, and television since the age of 14 in venues from New York City to Miami and on the East End. She received her training at Bard College, New York University, and The New School, majoring in liberal arts. Laura is a Registered Music Together Teacher, and has happily conducted Early Childhood Music and Creative Dramatics classes in Manhattan, East Hampton, Sag Harbor, and Bridgehampton for over 15 years at Ross Lower School, Stella Maris Preschool, Rainbow Preschool, Children’s Museum of the East End, The Art Farm, Art House Engel, Kids Classes of the Hamptons, and Summer Camp @Ross. Ms. Laura is the Pre-Nursery Lead Teacher at Ross Lower School and started there in 2012. This is Ms. Laura’s 11th year as an EC Music and EC Creative Dramatics and Movement teacher at Summer Camp @ Ross!
Filmmaking, Stop-Motion Animation
Noah is very excited to return as Summer Camp @Ross’s Filmmaking instructor for his 11th summer at the camp. Throughout this two-week course, campers will write, direct, and edit their very own short films. Campers learn fundamental techniques and film history all while exploring how to express themselves through the medium. The course will culminate in a video parade and campwide film festival at the end of each session.
Teresa and her team are so excited to teach at Ross for a fifth summer! While they have enjoyed their experiences teaching at The Ailey School, Sarah Lawrence College, Jacob’s Pillow, Barnard College, Broadway Dance Center, and DreamYard Project, Summer Camp @Ross holds a special place in their heart. This summer’s classes will be built from the BodyStories Dance Curriculum, which includes techniques such as modern, jazz, hip-hop, ballet, theater jazz, composition, improvisation, and dances from a myriad of cultures. Teresa loves to explore and thinks dancing is fun! She has worked in all kinds of places, from crafting serious works in opera houses to creating a site-specific work on the Ross playground. She cannot wait to see where this summer takes us!
A true ocean lover, Matt grew up on the East End of Long Island, where surfing became his passion at the age of 13. This passion eventually led him on numerous adventures through Latin America and Asia, until he ended up settling in Lima, Peru, where he founded his own apparel manufacturing company that supplies top fashion brands in the United States. He is now living in Sag Harbor with his wife and daughter but frequently travels to Latin America searching for new manufacturing suppliers and, of course, perfect waves. Matt is patient and determined to spread the love of and respect for the ocean to his young apprentices.
Orson grew up in Sag Harbor and has been surfing since he was 7 years old. He has taught Surfing at Summer Camp @Ross since the program began (about nine years ago) and couldn’t love his job more. He says, “Sharing the stoke with the younger generation is part of my being and brings me true gratification.” Fun fact: despite his last name, he’s not a very good frisbee player.
Jr. Crime Investigators
Larissa is the president of Jr Crime Investigators Inc, a local company specializing in hands-on experiences in forensic science and crime scene investigation for kids of all ages. She has been an educator for 15 years and holds a Master of Science in Biology from the University of St. Joseph, a certificate in Emerging Infectious Diseases, and professional NYS and Florida certification in biology. When she is not working, she loves spending time with her family on their fig and olive farm in Florida.
Jamie Hartzell studied studio art and French at Vassar College. She is teaching Photography and whatever other art classes she can sneak into this summer. She is very excited to get creative, silly, and covered in paint!
Fashion Design, Art Using Natural Materials, Art History
Bonnie was born and raised on the East End of Long Island and has spent many years teaching art to children. She loves creating, viewing, and learning about art. She also loves being a mom to her dog, a Cavalier King Charles named Zoey, and they both love spending time at the beach. She is very much looking forward to a fun-filled summer!
Mary earned a BFA in Ceramic from Long Island University Southampton, New York. A five-year apprenticeship in a production pottery studio and various postgraduate studies followed. In her Bridgehampton studio, Mary creates and shows wheel-thrown ceramics, exploring altered forms inspired by textures found in nature. Mary has enjoyed exploring clay with children through community programs for the past 20 years, helping them create and discover a passion for clay. Mary has been with Summer Camp @Ross heading the Ceramics program for 11 years. During the academic year, she also teaches Ceramics for Ross’s After-School Program and at the school itself when needed for special clay projects.
Theater, Theater Arts
Adam is finishing his 16th year among the Performing Arts faculty at Ross School and his 13th as chair of the department, in which position he has organized and produced hundreds of concerts and other performances. An excellent conductor and vocal coach, Adam has provided musical direction for productions of Wizard of Oz, Working, Once on This Island, Oliver!, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, South Pacific, Pippin, Into the Woods, Little Me, Sweet Charity, Flower Drum Song, Chicago, Grease, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Shrek, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Adam is also composer-in-residence at St. Ann’s Episcopal Church in Bridgehampton and arranges many pieces for his chorus and chamber music students at Ross. Before pivoting from his undergraduate training in musical theater at Otterbein University to pursue a master’s degree in conducting at Ohio State, Adam enacted a number of roles in collegiate and regional theater productions. Favorites include Hamlet (Laertes), Man of La Mancha (Cervantes/Quixote), Harvey (Elwood), Taming of the Shrew (Lucentio), A Chorus Line (Bobby), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Theseus), 1776 (Livingston), and Mother Courage and Her Children (Chaplain).
EC Music and Movement, Theater
Margaret has been teaching theater arts to students grades EC through 6 since 2006. She is also the director of the Ross Children’s Community Theater, a Ross after-school program for students from Ross and the community. In addition, Margaret has been a creative arts instructor for Summer Camp @Ross since 2007, creating themed original performances for Early Childhood that integrate the visual and performing arts. Margaret holds an MFA in literature and creative writing. Her performance credits include: playwright, director, producer, songwriter, and choreographer
Keith, who has been teaching circus arts at Summer Camp @Ross since the program started, brings 21 years of experience as a circus education specialist. A popular local performer, you might have seen him at Southampton Fest, Harbor Fest, Harbor Frost, Hampton Classic, Wölffer Estate Vineyard’s Harvest Party, East Hampton Library, Long Island Fair, or Guild Hall. To find out more about his Comedy Juggling Show, Electric Light-Up Show, Dynamic Fire Show, or skills like stilt walking, balloon twisting, or roving entertainment (and don’t forget circus arts), visit www.KeithLeaf.com
Deborah Lukasik O’Shaughnessy
Deborah has been with Summer Camp @Ross Art Fusion for eight seasons. She holds a bachelor’s degree in fine art from the School of Visual Arts with a concentration in sculpture, and a master’s degree in education, specializing in students with severe and multiple disabilities. She has been teaching art for over 25 years and has several large-scale public works in the United States. She enjoys sailing and making beautiful things, and is passionate about the role of art throughout history. She lives on a potato farm in Water Mill with her husband, their three children, and their black lab, Luna.
Kyle is a pianist and piano teacher on the East End of Long Island. Holding a master’s degree in music education, she teaches piano and accompanies school chorus concerts and weekly church services. She’s happy to be returning to the Theater major, where she’ll play piano for musicals the campers put on. She lives in East Hampton with her husband and teenage daughter.
Greg is returning for his fifth year as fitness coach for RSTA and the Summer Camp @Ross Jiu Jitsu major! Greg loves teaching the art and sport of realistic martial arts and self-defense in a fun environment.
Helene loves digging in the dirt, watching seeds grow, and harvesting from the garden. Her favorite snack are sun gold tomatoes, ripe off the vine. She is excited to return to the garden this summer, see some familiar faces, and meet new campers!
Cheryl has been with Early Childhood Summer Camp @Ross now for nine summers. It has been her pleasure to introduce children to creative, active, and innovative ways to explore the beautiful Ross School Campus and woods. She has been at the Ross Lower School for nine years and a part of the Bridgehampton School District for the past three years.
Orlando is currently the head coach of two Manhattan Soccer Club teams, where he has worked for the past 20 years. He has also coached the Riverdale Country School Varsity Girls team in the Bronx since 1995. He has led the Summer Camp @Ross Soccer program for the past 10 years, for which he has designed a curriculum based on teaching skills in a fun, warm, and enjoyable atmosphere.
Shelby teaches 11th grade English and coaches Varsity Golf at Ross School. He grew up in Amagansett and returned to the area after completing his doctorate in 1999.
Kathryn is returning for her sixth season at Summer Camp @Ross. After her first year of teaching Fashion Design in 2013, she was inspired to launch SewHampton, which teaches private and group sewing classes to people of all ages. She now has clients all over the Hamptons and NYC. Kathryn loves being an instructor and enjoys watching people all ages embrace the art of sewing!
Nygel is the Boys Varsity Basketball Head Coach at the Ross School as well as the Basketball director for Summer Camp @Ross. He was a walk-on member of St. John’s University “Red Storm” basketball team, playing in the Big East Conference. Later on, Nygel became a Brand Ambassador and Youth Basketball Coach for the New York Knicks and New York Liberty teams. Nygel is also a USA Basketball Gold Certified Youth Coach.
Charity Joy Robinson
Shakedown Yoga and Movement
Charity has been facilitating movement for adults and children for the past 15 years. She adores inviting people into a safe, fun space to explore their bodies, whether it’s through dance, yoga, Thai massage, fitness, or just shaking it out. She has taught the Shakedown Yoga and Movement program at Summer Camp @Ross for the last three years, opening the children to a new way of being with their bodies that is mindful, playful, and magically valuable.
This is Sophia’s 10th year as Rock Band Instructor! She teaches piano, guitar, violin, vocal performance, and composition to children and adults throughout the Hamptons. Sophia is a former recording artist for CBS Epic Records and was awarded Best Female Musician for 2015 and 2016 by Dan's Papers. She is currently completing her doctorate in jazz/commercial music.
Christian is an independent filmmaker and theater maker living in L.A. and the East End of Long Island. Christian has co-adapted, produced, and directed both Ray Bradbury’s The Murderer and Kurt Vonnegut’s Galápagos into fully staged productions, and his films spanning diverse subjects from death row exonerees to human-animal ritualists to tree prophets have screened nationwide. His next project, The Summit, is an original slapstick comedy about transhumanists, opening this Labor Day weekend at the Guild Hall Center for the Visual and Performing Arts.
Pony Club, Jewelry Making
Jenny has been riding since the age of four. Jenny was born on Long Island and raised in Port Washington, where she helped her mother train dogs. She studied equine science at Centenary College in New Jersey and graduated third in her class. She has worked in the Glen Cove School District in the Special Education Department for over 10 years and has been trained in Therapeutic Riding. She loves all animals, nature, sports, and poetry, and also speaks Spanish.
Mixed Martial Arts
EC Creative Explorations
Shannon is the fifth grade teacher at Ross School. She has taught EC Creative Explorations for the last four summers at Summer Camp @Ross. She enjoys spending time with her two little boys and watching the wonder on their faces as they explore new things. Fun fact: she is the reigning musical chairs champion for Field Day at Ross Lower School!
Mark began his nautical life at the beach as a youngster, when his parents would leave him with a surfboard and money for lunch. It wasn’t until his adult life that he took up sailing in earnest, earning his instructor’s rating from the American Sailing Association in 2002 and his U.S. Coast Guard Captain’s license in 2003. Mark runs The Sag Harbor Sailing School along with Robert Sullivan and was awarded Instructor of the Year honors in 2011 by the American Sailing Association.
Nini Yesenia Gil
Nini graduated from Antonio Nariño University with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. She is originally from Colombia, and she has been in the United States for two years. She is an enthusiastic teacher who enjoys doing fun projects. She looks forward to working as an instructor at Summer Camp @Ross.